Oxford Mail

From football messageboards – stories of our times.

  Aberdeen

“I found out my now-wife was at the game, as a Bankies fan, with her dad and sister (he obviously wanted sons). She excitedly burst out ‘I was at that game too!’ She thought I might say ‘how romantic’ or ‘funny old world’, but I just said ‘4-3: get it up you!’ ”

  Arsenal

“The coach toilet didn’t have a light and I was mid-slash when the driver decided to cut down a slip road on to a roundabout and back up on to the motorway. I was thrown all over the place, and came back out through the door backwards with a damp patch down one leg.”

  Aston Villa

“Got dropped off late by the coach, and when I asked a copper where the coaches would be after the game he simply turned his lapel over to show a West Ham badge and said “Do you think I am going to f*****g tell you?”

  Barnsley

“The station was pretty tense, with us trying to look like we’re just on our way home from work or something. Even when we got on the train and breathed a sigh of relief, a Brummie stuck his head in the window and shouted ‘fat bastard’ at my mate.”

“Millwall fans right next to us, fortunately behind railings. Wearing surgical masks. Stared at us all game – and hissed. Spooky.”

  Blackburn Rovers

“I remember being in the bogs behind the terrace at Huddersfield with a few other Rovers fans, trying to warm our hands around the solitary lightbulb.”

  Blackpool

“I got chucked in the back of a police van at Gigg Lane for what I can only think was being a ‘Pool fan and having a mullet.”

  Bolton Wanderers

I was in the stand at the Den. The guy next to me had to be over 80 years old. Millwall had Man City’s old centre forward Alf Wood who almost broke the net with a cracking goal. Me: ‘That was some goal’. Old boy: ‘What’s it got to do with you, you norvern cant?’

“Never saw any ‘home fans only’ signs on the pubs down Manny Road on match days. Didn’t need them.”

“At Millwall there would be owd grannies frisbeeing steel bin lids at us from tenement balconies.”

“I was stood next to a copper on the away end at Southampton. It pissed down the whole 90 minutes, we were drenched. When our equaliser went in the copper jumped up punching the air. Turned out he was a Pompey fan.”

“I went on the League Liner to Bournemouth, it had a disco carriage at the back. Boiling hot when we got there and I remember walking through a park to the ground where we saw men playing a strange game with sticks. Later found out it was hockey.”

  Brentford

“Anyone used the loaf of bread tactic walking to or from an away ground? Carry a small loaf of bread with you all all times. If approached by some local no-gooders just say “What game? I’ve just been asked to pop out and get a loaf of bread, we’re visiting my Nan.”

“I went to Roots Hall in about 1978 with my friend. We were 14. This boy about 2 years older than us came over and started hassling us and tried to take my mate’s scarf. There was a really pathetic struggle and then he said ‘sorry’ and let go and walked off.”

  Brighton & Hove Albion

“We were at a petrol station and some Ipswich fans started singing ‘Going down’. Angered by this I – resplendent in my nun’s habits – stormed across the forecourt to issue a volley of abuse through the driver’s window. I often wonder what anyone watching made of it.”

  Bristol City

“The police at Millwall were brilliant but scary – ‘All Bristol supporters stay in the light, don’t stray from the path’ – it was like a cross between An American Werewolf In London and Jurassic Park.”

“September 1986 away to Chester City at Sealand Road. We won 3-0 and David Harle scored a 30 yarder. I remember some City fans climbing up to the back of the terrace and picking raspberries to take back with them on the journey home.”

“At Port Vale I got into an argument with the young man selling the food and drinks, so he left the onions off my hot dog and put them in my Bovril.”

  Bristol Rovers

“Never really understood the point in beating up other fellow working class lads just because they follow a different football team. I’d fight to overthrow the monarchy or government or something, but not someone who is basically the same as me over nothing.”

“I felt a warm glow as I stood on the Tote End as a 12 year old without my Dad for the first time, only to realise it came from the bladdered skinhead behind me who’d been pissing down my back for the previous minute.”

“One snowy February day we were throwing snowballs at the brass band that walked around at half time, trying to get them into the tuba.”

  Burnley

“I asked a copper at Millwall what the safest way was back to my car, to which he replied ‘there isn’t one'”.

“I always remember walking up to the Longside and trying not to breathe in going past the bogs on the left hand side.”

“Remember playing at Wigan in winter, it had snowed and gone all slushy. We were freezing and it was shitty and my mate got charged £1.70 for a cheese burger. The lass simply chucked on a Kraft slice and it wasn’t melted or owt, 20p extra.”

  Burton Albion

“A youth asked if I wanted a tea and a pie. Naively I said yes, and he proceeded to tip the tea all over me, pushed the pie in my face and head butted me.”

  Cardiff City

“I recall sitting on the terraces at Springfield Park, surrounded by weeds and falling asleep as I’d had too much beer and the match was a dull 0-0.”

“We were marched around and around Eastville by the police before a new years fixture with Bristol Rovers in 1978, as the special was so early.”

“I got battered at Millwall and chased out of the ground. Caught a bus to Marble Arch, tube to Paddington, train to Hereford via Birmingham, train to Abergavenny, thumbed a lift to Brynmawr with 2 Pakistani doctors in a Ford Capri, walked home to Rhymney and all with about £2 in my pocket.”

   Carlisle United

“Very first league game l went to was Barnet away. Didn’t know where l was going, so I followed a bloke in a Barnet shirt-to the cash machine.”

  Celtic

“Standing at the pie stall and using 2 circular foil pie holders to make a ‘speccy bastard’ gesture at a fella in the Rangers end. He was (un)surprisingly raging at this.”

“We were behind the Mount Florida goal, which was not such a good idea as that end was split half and half with a fence down the middle and we were showered with bottles and cans by the Aberdeen fans. My dad had a tin leg which made it hard for him to dodge missiles.”

  Charlton Athletic

“Me and a mate sat next to two elderly gentleman, which saved us from a kicking when some Millwall entered our carriage. They made a comment that they would leave us alone as we were with our granddads.”

“The maniac hanging on to the emergency exit whilst yelling about his dislike for people from London was a bit of an experience, especially when he fell off, got back up and chased the bus down the road.”

“During the second half a copper was nattering to us. I mentioned that the natives seemed a tad hostile, he assured me that it was the 3000 outside without tickets that were the problem.”

“We were chucked out of the Antigallican and saw two dogs mating. My mate pushed them through the front door of the pub, still locked end to end. We looked in the door to see a screaming landlady spraying the two dogs with a fire extinguisher.”

“One of the Welling girls was called Carol. She had a record played for me at half time once called ‘Sweet Talking Guy’, which sounds good until you hear the words ‘Stay away from him, he will make you cry’. Then she rubbed my name off her jeans.”

“There was a bloke called Barry in the Covered End. He turned to my mate who had just bought a mug and said ‘Can I borrow that?’ My mate said ‘Yeah’, and Barry promptly ran down the front and smacked a Preston fan over the head with it.”

  Chelsea

“Walking round the allotments in ’87, Watford jumping out trying to look scary and someone from the Chelsea lot – heavily outnumbered – just laughing and saying loudly ‘Is that it then?’ and the Watford looking at each other, shrugging and walking off dejected.”

  Chesterfield

“I went on the special train to Glasgow. It pulled into Carlisle station and stopped, and one bright spark jumped off and ran into the bar to get some cans, emerging with his arms full just as the train pulled out. He chased the train down the platform but missed it.”

“I remember going to school speech day on a Friday night, getting to the gates and thinking ‘I’ve not missed a match for 3 years, fuck it’ and legging it to Saltergate for a 0-0 with Southend.”

“When our keeper came to retrieve a wayward shot my Nan screamed at him ‘You’re fat and useless’. When I remonstrated with her that he was one of ours, she responded with ‘No he’s not, we play in blue and he’s in green’.”

“My dad lifted me over the turnstiles in the 70s when I was about 7 or 8 to sit in the stand. I didn’t like football at the time so have no recollection of the match, but I just remember a real big bloke with a massive beard swearing his ruddy head off all the way through.”

  Coventry City

“I remember being at the Old Den and seeing Ronnie Farmer miss a penalty. I’m still convinced he did it on purpose to save our fans a battering.”

“I saw a car with a skeleton tied to its bumper going down the M1 to Wembley with a sign around its neck saying ‘103 years I’ve been waiting’.”

“Norwich away, some of them came into our section looking for trouble but the City fans were dancing to ‘Oh What A Night’ by Frankie Valli and ignored them, so they left looking confused.”

   Crewe Alexandra

“Tranmere, Friday night, walking back to the station on my own, followed by twelve year-olds on bikes going ‘Youse are crap, you are’ and trying to kick my arse, and having that thing where you’re a grown man and can’t hit kids but four of them might well take you down.”

   Crystal Palace

“Walking past a church in Stoke and their boys were hiding behind the gravestones. It was like being set upon by the dead. Even the congregation steamed in.”

“As we sat at the station we were bombarded by coins thrown by Watford fans on the other platform. My mate cottoned onto the fact they were throwing 10s and 50s at us, so we took it in turns to shout abuse and then duck as another shower of cash flew our way.”

I have fond memories of standing at the back of the terracing at the Goldstone (where we were habitually awful) and being entertained by the running battles going on in the park behind the ground. It was better than the football.

“We went to Portsmouth in 1967 when the Beatles had just released ‘I am the Walrus’. We had a whip round in the pub and bought loads of eggs, then went into the Portsmouth end and sang ‘We are the egg men’, and chucked all the eggs at them.”

“What stood out most to me was the Leicester fans to our left chanting ‘the watar in Majorcar don’t taste like what it ortar’ in their best cockney accents.”

“Malcolm Allison showed up for training one morning with porn actress Fiona Richmond in tow. Despite having no top she trained with the players and then joined them afterwards in the team bath tub.”

   Darlington

“I threw a coke bottle at some York fans, which missed them and broke someone’s front window. I got arrested and gave a false name, but my parents’ telephone number. Their confusion turned into a lot of angry words and me not being allowed out to bathe in the noteriety.”

   Derby County

“I once had a sausage roll at Goodison that said ‘this product is at least 20% pork’ on the wrapper.”

  Doncaster Rovers

“Inside Vicarage Road we found ourselves being chased by various fans of other teams whose games had been called off, as well as Watford. I vaguely remember us forming an uneasy alliance with another bunch of fans (possibly Luton) to try and get out of there unscathed.”

  Dundee United

“The copper wifie was chatting to fans. Of course I said ‘What are you doing after the game?’ only to be told ‘Getting Tayside police to raid your buses on the way home.’ ”

  Everton

“I’ve worked as a steward at Man United on numerous occasions. The time I got crowd surfed by a load of Leeds fans lives long in the memory.”

“My late dad, rest his soul, had a few ales up West before our game at West Ham. He gets on the train and nods off shortly after leaving Charing Cross. Wakes up at the station surrounded by fellas getting off the train wearing blue scarves. This must be the place. He follows them to…The Den.”

  Exeter City

“Millwall 1980. We scored, I kept quiet, we won and I left the ground in an orderly fashion. Got onto the tube and made my way back to Finchley where I lived at the time. Left the train, left the station, checked behind me and then shouted; GOOOOAAAAAAAALL!”

  Fulham

“Fulham fans were never into violence. We had enough on our hands at just getting through 90 minutes without killing ourselves, let alone anybody else.”

“Bloke buying a bottle of Panda Pop from a drink seller at the old Rainham End. When asked what flavour he wanted, he replied ‘Don’t care’ before proceeding to fuzz the bottle at the referee.”

“Went to Halifax on a Friday night and we won 2-1 with Crown scoring both, but I missed them as two kids up a tree by the away end were lobbing conkers at us.”

  Grimsby Town

“On my last trip to Highfield Road they welcomed us with a low level firework display, free pint glasses and a selection of pool table accessories.”

“We found an old style brown pay packet in the open corner and blew £25 on an Atari game, 5 flavour concentrates and a spare gas bottle for the Sodastream on the way home, mixed them up in a River Phoenix style frenzy and overgassed the soda. We were sick as fuck.”

“My mate was smacked straight in the face by a 25 yard screamer that knocked him off the barrier behind the ad boards and four feet onto the concrete. Then he left early, missed a last minute winner and got hit by a Wigan fan outside the ground.”

“There were huge queues of traffic en route, and in Newark the coaches were nose to tail and not moving. Dozens of folk jumped off into a nearby pub, grabbed a pint and walked about another 10 yards to pick the bus up again.”

“I got tied to the open corner seats against West Brom a week before getting married. Luckily the stewards unchained me at half time as it was raining.”

  Halifax Town

“I like the idea of football hooligans having a reading circle. I think A Clockwork Orange described what was already there rather than causing a new phenomenon. If it had any influence they’d have probably been wearing mascara and saying ‘yarbles’ instead of ‘bollocks’.”

“I was asked by a few colleagues to buy some Harrods jam, marmalade and tea for them on my trip South. When I got to the turnstiles the bag was confiscated in case I threw the jars on the pitch.”

  Heart of Midlothian

“I heard a story from a referee that a certain linesman emptied out his kit for washing after doing a game at Cliftonhill, and a rat jumped out of the bag.”

“At a Blue Brazil-Stirling game, I was in the roofless and pitch-dark bog trying not to pish on any unseen fellow pishers when a low flying plane went over with lights flashing. A voice from the dark shouts “Don’t worry lads, its just a Red Cross parachute drop”.

“I remember as a boy being enthralled that Clydebank had an all seater stadium. It sounded impressive to me at the time. Then we got there and the seats were like wooden planks laid down on a muddy hill.”

“Mid 70’s at Stirling Albion, time of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, about 150 Hearts fans riding down the road on invisible horses singing Brave, Brave Sir Robin. At one house the guy came out waving a shotgun because some of them were pissing in his garden.”

  Hibernian

“Once, many years ago, my mate Eddie Whoriskey and I left our scarves on the bus and went to the main stand at Ibrox ‘where all the old men go’ to avoid trouble. Aye, auld men with razor scars and bits of ear missing. Never felt hatred in the air like it.”

  Huddersfield Town

“Somerton Park was never anything but a hell-hole. They only had 3,000 or so fans but they were nearly all nutters.”

“At Millwall the mounted police looked like vagrants, with long, scruffy capes. Their horses looked ill as well.”

  Leeds United

“They put that LS9 flag behind the stage at the Duchess for the first Farm gig in Leeds. First thing Hooton did when he came on was tear it off and throw it into the crowd. Electric atmosphere that night. The management turned off the power and they just kept on playing,”

“There was that time at Plymouth when we all went back to Torquay, and by the time the police had shut down all the pubs a motley crew had set themselves adrift on someone else’s yacht and they had to get rescued by the lifeboat people.”

“Left the pub in the middle of Wolverhampton carnival, so thought it a good idea to jump on the back of a float giving it a loud rendition of ‘We are Leeds’. Locals took great offence and caught us in BHS where we took a bit of a beating.”

  Leicester City

“Peterborough away a few years ago, I lost my shoe down a manhole. Looked a right twat.”

“I won a bet with the local off licence that we’d win the World Cup, and my prize was his life size World Cup Willie cardboard cut out which I think was used to advertise Watneys’ Party Sevens.”

    Liverpool

“Elland Road in the Shankly days. Picking me way back to the station, no colours, got stoned by Leeds fans, got out of that then immediately afterwards stoned by Liverpool fans. It was like a scene out of the bible. Or a Monty Python sketch.”

“The Boys’ Pen at Anfield. Got robbed of everything the first time I was there. Those fellas had beards, that’s how old they were.”

  Manchester City

“Typical West Midlands police stopped the fun by deflating Frankenstein.”

“The old Kippax bogs had a shallow end and a deep end.”

“I ended up in the players lounge after the game and Keith Curle kept mithering me for cigs. I bumped into him at Wilmslow station about 15 years later and asked him if he had the packet of B & H he owed me. Just gave me a strange look and rapidly did one.”

“We were so excited we got to the game at about 1pm and hung around eating chips. That was until a mob of about a hundred Scousers turned up and proceeded to batter anyone in sight. Never ran so fast in my life but remember not dropping any chips.”

“As a kid, falling backwards from the white wall onto the running track and landing on my head after Bobby McDonald made it 3-1 in the ‘81 FA Cup quarter-final replay against Everton. A big fat rozzer of the old school picked me up, gave me a shake and shouted ‘We’re going to Wembley this year, lad’ before casually plonking me back on the wall like a fisherman chucking one back in because it was too small.”

“A mad Scottish fan we stood with used to say things like ‘I’ve been stabbed and slashed for this club’ and ‘I remember when Maine Road was a fortress, a bastion of invincibility’.”

“I saw the poor bloke who was selling soup disappear amongst the throng, along with his soup stand, which became a flat pack – with fist pumping fans chanting ‘SOUP SOUP SOUP’ and gallons of the stuff everywhere.”

  Manchester United

“There was a crowd of Stretty girls that sang Bay City Rollers songs. Always well made up with Ben Sherman shirts, jeans and monkey boots. The one I fancied had a fur-lined denim jacket, still remember her stomping to Dave & Ansell Collins’ ‘I am the Magnificent.'”

“Imagine being on the Kippax in the 70s wearing a half-and-half. You’d get your head kicked in by both sides.”

“Never understood the coppers at Forest lining us up in columns of 3 when only 2 would fit on the pavement, then smashing us with their truncheons or ramming us with their horses when we stepped on the road.”

“My Dad was at Wembley for the 79 Cup Final. He used the mortgage money to buy his ticket and returned to my Mum literally in tears. We lost, brutally, and somebody snapped his flag. Mum didn’t talk to him for days and I was bought up to hate Arsenal.”

  Middlesbrough

“Saw a scuffle in Albert Park where a Spurs fan thought he was hard and took his shirt off for a scrap. Some young Boro fan lifted it and the bloke had to sit through the game without a top on, bit cold that in November.”

“West Ham, 1975, hundreds of East End urchins to greet us and not a copper in sight. One of our trusty crew screams ‘We’re all gonna die’, then sees an old dear stood in her front garden, runs past her into the house and slams the door behind him.”

  Millwall

“I was taking a pee in the toilet in the Ilderton Rd end in the early eighties when Millwall scored a goal, and the bloke standing near me at the urinal went running back to the stand with his old Hampton still in his hand and was nicked by a waiting copper for indecent exposure.”

  Newcastle United

“The first football memory I have is the Mackems being on the telly and my dad wanting the opposition to win. I said to him ‘You’d support them if they were playing in Europe though, wouldn’t you?’ to which he replied “You’ll never have to worry about that, son.’ ”

“I was at the Celtic friendly in the 60s, After the game I went to the Miners’ Welfare in Wallsend and a bus from a Fife branch of the Celtic supporters club was there. I ended up on the bus and was fed bottles of Broon in return for singing the Blaydon Races.”

“There was a miserable old bat barmaid in the Haymarket Hotel who would poke you with a window pole if you made ower much noise.”

“You could always tell when a home game was coming up as my school used to end up empty of bog rolls on the Friday before.”

“We played Chelsea in the early 80s and someone climbed up onto the scoreboard and removed the letters C & H from Chelsea and the Gallowgate started singing “Elsie, Elsie’.”

  Norwich City

“Handlebars was a nasty so and so. Nearly 7′ tall with a wonderful handlebar moustache, so he stood out when he was sorting out hooligans. He was still only a PC when he retired because of the unconventional violent ways he used to deal with persons committing offences.”

  Nottingham Forest

“Swansea at home, an announcement over the PA ‘Mr Smith, your wife has given birth to a baby boy’, and the man behind me says ‘Poor bloke, he’s had to sit through this rubbish and now he’s got to get his own tea.’ ”

“I made the “Mucking Fagic” banner for the League Cup final v Liverpool. I got the idea from a T shirt I won at Goose Fair. It was a picture of Selwyn Froggitt with thumbs up saying ‘Mucking Fagic our Maurice’.”

“Against Liverpool Brian Moore was conducting an interview from a makeshift studio built on scaffolding at the back of the Bridgford End. Some scally climbed up, and you could see and hear him shouting ‘Hey Brian Moooure, can you hear me, you twat?’ “

“Crossing the road outside The Hawthorns many years ago after a tense match with the Albion, Gary Newbon drove his car across my foot. The git didn’t even realize and just kept on going.”

  Notts County

“A group of us were taken to Stratford by the English Department in ‘96. Just so happened to be Scotland’s Euro 96 training base. Closest I got to understanding Macbeth was watching Colin Hendry kicking people in training matches.”

  Partick Thistle

“We found a stash of scuddy books in the ball-boys’ room and a huge argument took place about whether we should divvy them up equally, in preference of age, or leave them be in case they belonged to someone important and we got sacked or someone scary and we got a doin’.”

“Remember beating Dundee 3-0 1979 approx, and singing Rupert the Bear at a Dundee fan in tartan trousers as the Dundee fans headed off.”

“Someone threw a pie onto the pitch and a seagull swooped down and grabbed it up in one movement and the Shed sang ‘SEAGULL, SEAGULL.’ ”

“I met John Workman in town after a midweek victory in the dark days and he asked me and my mate if we wanted to go up the dancin’ with him and a couple of burds.”

  Plymouth Argyle

“Wally Arnold coaches used to leave Bretonside at midnight and we’d arrive at about 8.30am with nothing to do until the pubs opened. I remember stopping at Gordano and watching all the sandwiches and snacks disappear as if a plague of locusts had just arrived.”

“Lost my Grandad at the Everton game in 1975. My Dad and I found him standing on a bank of grass, watching the scrapping going on in Central Park.”

“On the way to Charlton a pheasant smashed through the coach window and landed on a screaming girl’s lap. Evening match and we had to travel the rest of the way in freezing conditions. We lost as well.”

  Preston North End

“I went on a fancy dress away trip to Shrewsbury and had to rescue a guy dressed as Pinocchio being chased by some nuns”.

  Queens Park Rangers

“I’d dragged three non-QPR mates who weren’t even that in to football along to Saltergate with me. They hated me for taking them to stand in the rain with a couple of hundred other miserable men.”

“When it was all going a bit mental outside and the Vale fans had locked themselves in their bar, a teenage QPR fan got bitten by a police dog. Brian Rowe came over to stop the lad getting arrested, and one of the horses bit his ear.”

“Brunton Park must have been the only ground in the country where you could stare out at scenery complete with cows and haystacks while watching your team play at the highest level in English football.”

   Rangers

“Albertz taking shots in at the Copland. One sails just over the bar, heading for a boy coming down the stairs on crutches. Swings crutch at ball, misses, gets hit full in the face and falls backward into a boy carrying wee towers of pies and bovril. Carnage.”

“Took about 6 hours to get to Chesterfield on the train, to be marched up to the ground by police with dogs on one side and horses on the other. Coming back two older bears drunk and growling at me to shut the fucking windae, which is really hard to do when there’s no glass in it.”

“We didn’t get back into Queen Street until 3am. At first people were just pulling the cord because they were pissed off at the defeat, but then as we got closer to Glasgow they started pulling it when the train was nearest to where they lived.”

  Reading

“I remember some guy getting turfed out in the early ’80’s, being carried past the South Bank by two coppers with another one behind them carrying the bloke’s false leg.”

“In the early Seventies we played Hartlepool on a wet Saturday afternoon, they had just two fans behind the Reading end and one of them got thrown out by the police for threatening the Reading fans on the South Bank.”

“Stalactites formed in the bogs behind the Tilehurst End. Took great interest in their downward progress over the decades.”

  Rochdale

“I remember taking my first girlfriend on a date to one of those supporters’ club nights and dancing to Chansons d’Amour. I didn’t see her again after that, she ended up marrying Geoff Thomas the footballer.”

“We all dived into a furniture removal van and went to the Racecourse Ground. When we stopped for a beer on the way home a fully cooked suckling pig magically appeared in the back of the van.”

“I used to strip to my Y fronts and wade in the River Roch (9th hole) looking for lost golf balls, there was always a few in there. The aim was to make enough money to get up to Spotland for the game and cover the entrance fee.”

  St Mirren

“First away game I can really remember was the Motherwell cup match in ’77 with about 20 people in the back of Alan McCaw’s transit van that he delivered the rolls in from the bakery.”

  Sheffield United

“In the 1980 match at Cleethorpes there was a lot of bother. A pub was smashed up and I remember skirmishes on the road to Blundell Park. I also remember watching two old ladies sitting on a bus in packamacs, pointing at the fighting and laughing at it all.”

  Sheffield Wednesday

“Losing 3-0 to Leeds and stupidly going for a drink in the Waggon and Horses, followed by being chased up the hard shoulder of the M621. We ended up heading towards Hull on foot and Rodney ran into a branch.”

“British Rail actually had a disco carriage that was used on a rota basis by different football special trains. It came with a dance floor area and lights etc. I don’t think we ever got it. Probably for the best.”

“I remember trying to speak Scouse buying a bag of chips opposite Anfield in the 80s. About as mad as it got for me. I was only a short arse.”

  Shrewsbury Town

“A load of us bunked off to go to Aldershot after convincing our parents to write sick notes, then posed with our flags and scarves for the Shrewsbury Chronicle as we boarded the coaches. About 30 copped detentions for a week and were branded ‘The Aldershot Squad.’ ”

  Stoke City

“The St. John’s went into the crowd with a stretcher, and a couple of minutes later folks were clapping and laughing at this huge Wolves skinhead sitting upright on the stretcher wearing a St. John’s hat at a jaunty angle. He was paraded about until the Old Bill got him.”

“It was one of those pubs where you could buy anything. I actually saw a bloke run through the front door and straight out the back with half a pig lifted from the butchers’ round the corner. They cut it up with a hacksaw and were selling very thickly cut bacon an hour or so later.”

  Southampton

“Violent intimidation from female Brummie skinheads could be many a man’s fantasy. Not mine.”

“The celery chap was mad as a box of frogs. He wore a leather jacket, white polo jumper and red and white bar scarf. He would arrive seconds before kick off to rapturous applause and cheering like the arrival of a king, produce his bunch of celery and hold it aloft.”

“Whilst hiding from Millwall fans in Debenhams we saw a right dodgy group of geezers walking in. It was only after they went by that we realised it was a group of burly minders and The Jam who were playing in town later that night.”

“The whole Portsmouth end emptied. I asked my old man where they were going. ‘Round here, I expect’ was his reply.”

   Southend United

“It was our first visit to Vicarage Road. A bit lost on the outskirts, we asked a milkman wearing a Watford scarf for directions. He kindly outlined a route for us which promptly took us out of Watford in the opposite direction.”

  Sunderland

“We used to hire removal vans ‘cos they were cheaper than a minibus. The lads in the back would set up a card table, lights and music. They’d urinate by pulling up the roller-door and hanging to the top with one hand.”

“At Barnsley coming out of the ground the locals tried the old what’s the time routine, only to have my then wife give them a mouthful in Welsh which confused the shit out of them.”

“We were kept behind for an hour and then everyone was escorted to the train station, and I mean everyone. Even those whose cars were parked beside the ground and those who’d made the journey by coach.“

“You’d eat as much as you could in the motorway service station food queue before you reached the checkout. Duffel coat hoods were filled with sausages. I’ve seen fried eggs and baked beans in duffel coat hoods before now.”

“My Dad swore blind that one time at West Ham the home fans threw a swan into the away section. I always doubted that one.”

  Swindon Town

“100 skins came running at us near the old bus station shouting …. I thought we were dead, but they were shouting at us to help them turn a minibus over on its side. It went over and we carried on to the station unscathed.”

“Coming out of Carlisle’s ground my brother fell down a grass bank into a big puddle, and then my best mate walked into a lamp post as we were being herded back to the station.”

  Swansea City

“Trip to Blackpool after losing at Deepdale in 86 was a memorable day. Arrived home with a 6 foot tall cuddly elephant called Ivor, won on the pleasure beach, which I had to carry in front on me on my Yamaha YB100 as I drove home at 5 o clock in the morning.”

  Torquay United

“At the 1979 pre-season friendly against Oxford United, the Oxford fans took the Torquay end simply by turning up early and chasing the dozen Torquay fans out of it. The Oxford hoolies were wearing t-shirts with ‘London border’ written on them.”

“We went to Wimbledon banger racing after the game and got accosted by some Arsenal fans thinking we were Wimbledon supporters with our yellow and blue colours on. When they realised we were Torquay fans they seemed to lose the will.”

  Tottenham Hotspur

“It kicked off with Arsenal fans and I ran into the nearest toilets for cover. Never forget being wedged inside a cubicle with (among other randoms) the burger guy. He had the foresight to park his burger trolley in the cubicle next door.”

“The Spurs Supporters’ Club brought in a four cans each rule for away trips, so we showed up with four Party Sevens each at Kings Cross for the next game. Even the police were laughing (they did in those days).”

“They were selling raffle tickets for Johnny Pratt’s testimonial and our carriage won. It was a bottle of Johnnie Walker’s that had the label up the wrong way. We emptied the contents between Euston and Burnley and staggered off into town drunk as skunks.”

  Tranmere Rovers

“I went to watch Rovers at Spotland in ’84 with a carrier bag of fruit from Rochdale market. I was jumped after the match, dropped the bag and was pelted with the fruit as I legged it.”

“About 12 of us, all knackered. Coventry bounce up and start quizzing us. Kevin says, ‘There’s a dozen of us here, but there’s a thousand boys with shotguns on the next train.’ ”

  Walsall

“Four of us went, but with only three tickets. Had to deal with a spiv outside the marble halls, Private Walker’s double…trilby, tache, the lot. He was shit scared of the plod, and spoke in one word sentences whilst walking past us to and fro like an apparition.”

“Our coach driver made a point of telling us that he and some of the other drivers spent the afternoon in a café across the road from where the coaches were parked up, and Arthur Mullard had come in for his regular fry up.”

  Watford

“I was a policeman on duty next to our fans at White Hart Lane when we won 5-1, and I went mad as the game progressed. So much so that I was discreetly escorted out on the orders of my Chief Superintendent, and locked in a police van for the last 10 minutes.”

  West Bromwich Albion

“I remember going to Derby on a football special and my mate getting bit by a police dog, poor sod missed the game (my mate not the dog).”

“All the pubs were shut. I banged on the door of one where there was obviously something going on inside. Guy opened it, said ‘No football fans.’ I said ‘ We’re on holiday’. He let us in and it was full of Albion fans in beachwear.”

“I remember going in the Cock the day after Leeds smashed it up and asking the gaffer why he even let them in. He said the cost of a few new glasses and the odd chair was peanuts compared to the amount of money he took over the bar.”

  Wigan Athletic

“The coppers confiscated our Doc Martens before the Stafford Rangers game, and then gave us a raffle ticket number so we could collect them after the final whistle.”

“Coming off Springfield Park at full time, one of these little blue carriages was navigating its way through the crowd when four lads held onto the back and stopped it in its tracks. Th’owd codger was revving like fuck and getting nowhere.”

“I left the replay on a stretcher. After we got the penalty we were all jumping up and down and I accidentally landed on some fellas foot. He yelled, pushed me away and I landed at the bottom of the Town End and tore my ankle ligaments. Didn’t even see the goal.”

   Wolverhampton Wanderers

“Before the match I saw a Chelsea fan attempt to insert a hot dog into a police horse’s anus.”

“Went to Bolton on a Special. We hadn’t left the station before our table collapsed, the interconnecting door came off its hinges and when someone used the toilet it flooded and ran all along the carriage floor.”

“My mate got ejected from the ground. After the game he was standing in just a pair of socks, because Mancunian youths had nicked his Sergio Taccini top, Lacoste shirt and even his trendy briefs. But they laughed at his Hi-Tec socks and left him with them on.”

“The shirt was thrown out from the directors’ box, I don’t even know which player it was. I jumped up with another fan and we caught it at the same time as each other. We “argued” over the ownership and then decided to share it. I ended up with the front.”

  Wrexham

“Feb 16 1974, Southampton 0 Wrexham 1. I met up with some friends from home at the ground, one thing led to another, and come midnight I was knocking on my parents door in Mold with a wife in London thinking I’d been abducted by aliens. When I got back I wished I had.”

“Portsmouth arrived in town so early they robbed a milk float on its round.”

  Wycombe Wanderers

” I can still remember the Goole crew, stood behind us, singing ‘we will, we will stab you’ to the tune of Queen’s ‘We will rock you’ (which, at the time, was little more than an obscure B side).”